Exxon Cites Its “Constitutional Rights” To Fight Off Climate Fraud Probe

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Photo: Valhalla Movement - YouTube - Creative Commons

Photo: Valhalla Movement – YouTube – Creative Commons

By David Hasemyer
Inside Climate News

ExxonMobil has sued to derail a second attorney general’s investigation of the oil giant’s climate record.

The company filed a complaint in federal district court in Fort Worth on Wednesday against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Her office subpoenaed Exxon records going back 40 years in an investigation of whether the company committed consumer or securities fraud by misrepresenting its knowledge of climate change.

In the same court, Exxon has a similar suit pending against Claude Walker, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, who has launched a similar probe. Healey and Walker are part of a coalition of Democratic attorneys general trying to hold fossil fuel companies legally accountable for their conduct on climate change. The group was organized by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office initiated an Exxon inquiry last year.

In its lawsuit, Exxon said the Massachusetts investigation under consumer and securities fraud statutes is “nothing more than a weak pretext for an unlawful exercise of government power to further political objectives.” The attorney general is “abusing the power of government to silence a speaker she disfavors,” according to the lawsuit.

Exxon asked the court to either issue an injunction halting the investigation or rule that the investigation is without legal merit.

Exxon strikes the same themes in the suit against Healey as it does in its action against Walker: The investigation is a violation of the company’s constitutional rights, including the First and Fourth amendments that protect free speech and prohibit unreasonable searches.  Continue Reading the Full Article at Inside Climate News

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